This new age of economy is evening the playing field.
There are people with 8 figure annual incomes with 95% profit margins.
People who are doing this all as a one man operation.
The way to make money is still the same as it’s been for 6,000 years.
Selling and negotiation.
Marketing and advertising.
Saving and investing.
But the old doors are closing.
And new ones are opening.
New doors that are wider than any previously available.
So the way to make money is to;
- Take the time tested skills, and
- Use them to take advantage of the new doors, the new opportunities.
The first key is the time tested skillset for earning money.
We need money, stop lying to yourself
There’s a belief system in online music producer discourse.
One that shames anyone trying to make money through anything that isn’t struggling to get music sales.
They love the story of the starving artist.
Because misery loves company.
It’s not to say that music sales aren’t important.
And labels make a large portion of income through selling music.
But only because they have money to invest.
Because they build income through marketing, advertising, content creation, and sales.
They leverage that income into music.
Then sell the music and leverage that income back into marketing, advertising, content creation, and sales.
And then they repeat the cycle.
We talked about changing definitions and breaking down limiting beliefs in the previous newsletter.
As music producers, there are many words we must redefine in order to make money.
Selling simply means giving someone something valuable in exchange for something else valuable.
In the case of a music producer, it could be your;
- Leases, and/ or
- Publishing shares…
Just to name a few.
And when you give these things to individuals or companies.
These valuable things.
You are entitled to valuable compensation.
That is selling.
Marketing simply means highlighting the most valuable aspects of whatever you are trying to sell.
The goal of marketing is to make the value of your product visible.
So that it reaches the people who will benefit the most from it.
The issue that the broke mentality musicians have with selling is this.
They find the few cases in which people selling have misrepresented the value of some product through shady marketing.
Then, use those few cases to do the following;
- Justify there ineptitude in sales and marketing, 2 of the most valuable skills any human can master, and
- Condemn anyone trying to sell or market anything (because misery loves company and they need to reinforce their shitty world view).
There is nothing wrong with marketing the value of the beats you sell.
There is nothing wrong with you making a good sound kit and working to get it in the hands of as many people as possible.
There is nothing wrong with making dope merch and talking about how great it is in order to get people to buy it.
That’s what every business in the world is doing.
So you are either doing it, or working for someone who is doing it.
It all boils down to intent.
Are you selling something that is actually valuable?
Or are you trying to use marketing tactics to sell a trash product.
This has a lot to do with your confidence in your skills and products.
Which is why, in the last newsletter, we stressed the importance of actually being good at what you do.
Being good makes you valuable.
It also makes you confident in your value.
If you believe in what you are doing, you will have no issues selling oor marketing.
Because your only goal will be using your value to make peoples lives better.
Everything is a funnel
The age of the ‘marketing bro’ is upon us.
Everyone has a course telling you that the only thing you need is a sales funnel to start making $10,000 per month.
What they don’t tell you is that the sales funnel is only one part of the actual business funnel.
They won’t tell you that it’s the smallest part.
The most insignificant.
The reason they don’t tell you this is because they are fundamentally bad at business.
You’ll know this because they don’t make any content to create brand awareness.
That’s the first part of the full marketing funnel.
The most significant.
“Marketing bros” will bypass the content funnel by running ads that are aimed at getting you to upsell immediately.
An immediate upsell from a lead magnet is not bad.
It’s actually good business when done properly.
“Done properly” is an extremely important operator.
It’s poor practice to upsell anyone who you haven’t gone out of your way to provide value for.
Ads can be valuable content.
But this is almost never the point of view for “marketing bros.”
Otherwise, they would focus mainly on making content instead of repeating advert after advert.
While people like Alex and Leila Hormozi work to make endless amounts of valuable content and then run ads to increase the reach of those content pieces.
“Marketing bros” test ads with various content pieces until they find one that converts well enough for them to “print money.”
The ad is the printer.
The consumer is the ink.
And like a printer, they must constantly replace the ink.
All businesses need new leads.
But an ad-dependent business will die the moment they can’t replace the leads they are losing.
Simply because they neglect to nurture and love their leads in the content funnel.
And this dispassionate attitude towards their consumer trickles throughout their funnel.
Weak nurturing and follow up, if any at all.
And sales pages made to manipulate our human psychology.
Instead of giving value and allowing the consumer to make an informed decision.
They are hoping they win the coin toss with each page view.
Businesses that put effort into the content funnel will have stronger brands because consumers are humans that can assess value.
Even if they don’t buy what you’re selling.
They’ll tell someone about their great experience with your content.
About your amazing nurturing.
This increases your overall reach, no adverts required.
Then when someone does purchase they do more of the same.
They share their good experience with your products.
The consumer becomes your advert.
All because you bothered to care where it mattered the most.
The Content Funnel
The most important part of the entire marketing funnel.
Getting it right here makes everything a million times easier.
Because proper execution in the content funnel ensures that you aren’t violating the law of compensation.
The law that states you must give to get.
The law of value provision in exchange for money (or something of equal value to that which you are giving).
Your content must be valuable in order for your content funnel to be effective.
Your content is valuable if it helps the consumer solve a problem.
The simplest way to do this is by using the PAS system.
Problem. Amplify Awareness. Solve/solution.
Finding a problem is important because it narrows your focus.
Niche creation, basically.
But it also narrows the focus of your consumer by catching their attention.
If you don’t call out a problem, they have no reason to consume your content.
There are three buckets that all good problem-solving content falls into;
If you can hit at least one of these in each content piece, you’re doing something right.
Getting 2 or all 3 guarantees a meaningful connection with your audience.
The best novelists are great demonstrations of this.
Chuck Palahniuk exemplifies this masterfully with “Fight Club.”
The book is entertaining (yes, more than the movie, if you can believe that).
The book educated millions of men on connection and depth of emotion.
The book inspired even more to ‘make something of themselves’ through worthy pursuits.
From the perspective of entertainment, the problem being solved is boredom.
A lack of entertainment and mental stimulation.
Marketing of the book makes the consumer aware that there is a piece of content that can greatly stimulate their mind.
The text inside the book solves the problem of boredom by entertaining the reader throughout.
From the perspective of education, the problem being solved is western men’s knowledge void regarding emotional depth and human interconnection.
The cost of this knowledge void is the catalyst for the entire story.
It amplifies the reader’s awareness of the costs of not fixing the problem.
The solution is the moral of the story (no spoilers).
From the perspective of inspiration, the problem being solved is a man’s inability to take initiative in their life.
A bulk of the book focuses on addressing the very real way men respond to the lack of purpose driven life.
An amplification of the costs of indecision over time.
The solution is the moral of the story.
I’m serious. No spoilers.
Go read the book. It’s really good.
Chuck Palahniuk is a generational talent.
Don’t worry about executing as well as he does with his books.
Again, you only need to nail one of the 3 buckets.
Bonus points if you get multiple.
How fight club teaches us to make producer content
We can reverse engineer Chuck Palahniuk’s PAS execution to make amazing content for our consumers.
As producers, the first thing we need to think about is the problem we are solving.
We find a good problem to solve by thinking about the problems we solve for ourselves.
Your past self is your best consumer.
You will have solutions for them.
You’ve already solved their problem.
That’s why you should absolutely make content for producers.
There’s no ones problems you understand better.
This is why it’s vital that you GET GOOD at what you’re doing.
By getting good at making beats, you are solving your own problem of being bad at it.
Once you truly solve that problem for yourself, you have a solution to share.
And yes, people will always need your unique solution.
Just work hard to create it for yourself first.
You are the guinea pig.
If the experiment is a success with you, it will be for others too.
Speaking from experience.
Melody making is a good place to start simply because most producers struggle with making good melodies.
There is a natural resistance to learning basic theory which is actually the easiest and fastest way to make good melodies.
So if you find a good way to communicate theory without letting on to the consumer that’s what’s happening, you’re in business.
Here’s some empirical evidence to support the need for more melody solutions.
This is a comparison between 5 search term queries on Google Trends;
- how to make melodies fl studio
- how to mix beats fl studio
- how to drum program fl studio
- how to arrange fl studio
- how to sample fl studio
Nothing comes even remotely close to “melody making” and “sampling.”
Sampling is a derivative of melody creation.
This isn’t a cheat code some much as it is a game mechanic.
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Use the damn wheel.
Just a suggestion.
Once you find a consumer with a problem, you need to alert them to the costs of not fixing this problem.
Then amplify their awareness.
This happens in many ways.
With the help of SEO, your title puts you directly in front of people who need a solution.
Your title must state the problem clearly.
And by doing so, it inherently makes the consumer aware that they are suffering by not fixing it.
You can take this a step further during the intro of your content piece by discussing the costs of this problem.
The failures of other content trying to fix the problem.
Then you jump into your unique solution.
The solution should be the bulk of the content.
This PAS system can be used in any kind of content piece;
- Longform videos
- Shortform (Reels, YT Shorts, Tik Tok)
- Short broadcast emails
If you want to learn more about how I use this system to seamlessly create all my content, check out Level 2 Content Creation, by DOPE.
Backend systems (The Follow Up Funnel)
Where does the selling happen?
All the time.
If you’re smart, you don’t hard-sell products in your content.
You sell the consumer on the idea that you are valuable to stay in contact with.
You bury them in value.
Then you let them make a decision.
“Do I trust this person to keep giving me value for free, and maybe even at a fee?”
The best way to influence this decision is with a lead magnet.
A free gift.
This is the first step of your backend system which is most effectively delivered via an email marketing system.
Doing so is very important because you don’t want to sell for money first.
Sell your value for trust.
Those who buy your value with trust will eventually buy your value with money.
Just be consistent and honest in your desire to deliver a meaningful solution to their problem.
Show up everyday to make content.
Make them believe that you are there to serve.
Don’t trick them into trusting you with gimmicks.
Earn their trust through consistent effort.
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